The 19 Most Asked Questions on Double Materiality Assessment

Our answers to your most frequently asked questions from our Q&A roundtables
The 19 Most Asked Questions on Double Materiality Assessment
Publ. date 28 Jun 2023
Double Materiality is one of the hottest, yet most uncertain, topics within the sustainability sphere right now. With the newly adopted CSRD disclosure, many organizations feel overwhelmed when it comes to conducting a Double Materiality Assessment in line with CSRD and the guidance provided by the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). After Finch & Beak’s “ESG Acceleration Webinar on Strengthening Your Double Materiality Approach”, it became apparent that many organizations were looking for further guidance and advice – the majority (70%) of them either have not started yet or are still being at the beginning of their Double Materiality journey. Therefore, to answer the most pressing questions, Finch & Beak has hosted eight Double Materiality Q&A roundtables in small groups.

The download contains detailed answers to the 19 most relevant and pressing questions from our audience.

Strong demand for clearer guidance on execution of Double Materiality Assessment

Due to the more demanding requirements surrounding the Double Materiality Assessment (DMA) under CSRD, many organizations struggle with the execution of a CSRD-aligned Double Materiality Assessment. The majority of our roundtable’s participants stated that they have not yet started their Double Materiality journey (31%) or are still at the beginning (39%). The minority has fought its way midway through the assessment (12%), is getting towards the end (8%) or has already managed to finish their DMA (7%).

If you are looking into your company’s CSRD Readiness, we can help you by delivering a full gap analysis in just 5 days. More information on the last page of the download.

The greatest uncertainties relate to impact measurement and strategic integration
After collecting the numerous questions the participants shared with us, the following main categories were identified where organizations are still tapping in the dark:

  • Getting started, i.e., how to get leadership buy-in? When to start and how long does a DMA process usually take?
  • Selection of ESG topics, i.e., how to select the right topics for the longlist? How to conduct a value chain analysis?
  • Stakeholder engagement, i.e., how to best engage external and internal stakeholders? Which formats should be used?
  • Impact measurement, i.e., how to assess impacts? How to quantify identified impacts?
  • Consolidation of results, i.e., what are common thresholds? How to select the most material and impactful ESG topics?
  • Operationalization of material ESG topics, i.e., how to effectively integrate the identified ESG topics into the strategy? How often should a DMA be conducted?

The download attached contains the detailed answers to these and many more frequently asked questions.

Use the opportunity to go beyond reporting and accelerate your sustainability strategy

Undeniably, conducting a Double Materiality Assessment is a time- and resource-intensive task, but can also be seen as an exercise that adds a lot of value if it goes beyond compliance and simple disclosure. By incorporating a strategic and long-term lens into the assessment, businesses are able to identify opportunities to enhance their sustainability performance, strengthen stakeholder relationships, and ultimately drive business growth.

One organization that effectively used its DMA results to determine its strategic direction is Arkema. After conducting its Double Materiality Assessment in 2022, the company used the outcomes to update its priorities and targets and aligned its CSR commitments with the material topics identified by the DMA. This allowed Arkema to ultimately strengthen its sustainability strategy and accelerate its ESG performance.

Although businesses do not yet have to disclose their CSRD-aligned Double Materiality Assessment and smaller-sized organizations still have some time to prepare, we strongly recommend complying voluntarily and already starting your DMA work as soon as possible.

Want to know more about double materiality assessment and its strategic benefits?

If you still have questions related to conducting a Double Materiality Assessment, you are invited to join our upcoming DMA roundtables in July and August. In case you require assistance with your Double Materiality Assessment, get in touch with Johana Schlotter, at Johana@finchandbeak.com or call +31 6 28 02 18 80 to discuss how Finch & Beak can support you.

Photo Ray Hennessy by on Unsplash

About Rachel Wilbertz

Ambitious professional aiming to promote corporate sustainability, sustainable development, and environmental justice. | rachel@finchandbeak.com

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